Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 11/10/2015

Why dies it cost so much to install a French drain?

I need a French drain done in my backyard, where water is standing.

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

2 Answers


French drains cost so much because of the large amount of labor involved in doing it. Lots of digging by hand or expensive equipment to do it for them.

Answered 4 years ago by DriverNerd


Depends on what type and depth, whether it is expensive or not. A simple shallow french drain to eliminate a damp spot or few or a boggy swale can run as cheap as $5-10/LF (just a foot or so burial depth), whereas a french drain along the base of a house foundation can run up to about 5-10 times that much very rough ballpark, putting it in 8-10 feet down.

Ways to cheapen the job -

1) provide easy on-site disposal area for trenched material to eliminate need to haul it away

2) for some cases of simple damp spot elimination out in the yard, sometimes a drain pipe is not needed - just drain rock wrapped in filter fabric and structural geotextile will do the job - basically a "sausage drain" winding through the wet spots at a suitable trench bottom slope and existing to a free drainage outlet.

3) commonly, unless the house is down in a hollow, excavated swales or swales combined with berming using the excavated materials can be the cheapest and also the most maintenance free - providing a drainage path to remove the surface water, and using the berming (or terracing) both to dispose of excavated materials produced in building the swale, and also to contain the water so the swale does not have to be so deep, thereby reducing your excavation quantities (and cost).

Cost can also relate to the vendor you use - while a Basement Waterproofing contractor is probably your best beat for a foundation drainage drain, an out-in-the-yard drain might be cheaper done by a Landscaping contractor, or if doing the rehab and replanting yourself, a small Excavation contractor can frequently be cheapest. There can easily be a 2:1 or even 3:1 relative difference in their general costs for such work.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy